Having warned against a vote for Leave in the EU Referendum, the Mirror titles are in a dither. Do they: a) ignore the whole thing; b) try to beat UK leader Nigel Farage at his own game by whipping up fears over immigration, and in so doing connect with the paper’s readership whose vote for Labour was once a given?
The Sunday Mirror just goes with a):
Congratulations to Wales, which voted out of the EU and stayed in the Euros (source for joke: all papers). But what about those half a million desperate “migrants”? Well, the People seems unsure who they are: are they migrants or EU workers? And what of the number? A clue to how speculative it is comes in a further headline:
Brexit to cause immigration surge as 500,000 East Europeans ‘will rush in before borders close’
The inverted commas means it’s untrue. Fact is now opinion. Whose opinion becomes clear – and no, it’s not the Daily Express leader writer’s:
The warning was issued by former minister Phil Woolas who said ‘those who wanted to halt immigration will, perversely, cause the opposite’
Woolas is a former Labour MP. He says:
“Every time the UK Government announces a cap on immigration, thousands rush in before the deadline. Would-be immigrants see that the door is about to slam. So they bring forward their plans and a last-minute rush heads for the UK. In the Home Office, they call it the fire sale.”
So the paper’s headline figure is a guess based on the opinion of a former Labour MP. And what do we know of him? Well, the BBC reported in 2010:
Former Labour MP Phil Woolas has admitted defeat in his battle to overturn a court ruling which stripped him of his Commons seat. “It is the end of the road – I am out,” the former immigration minister said as he left the High Court. It means a by-election in his Oldham East and Saddleworth is likely soon. Mr Woolas narrowly won the seat in May but the result was declared void by an election court which ruled he had lied about his Lib Dem rival.
The specially convened election court ruled that comments in campaign material suggesting Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins had tried to “woo” the votes of Muslim extremists, clearly amounted to an attack on his personal character and conduct. The court ruled he was guilty of breaching the Representation of the People Act 1983 and barred him from standing for elected office for three years, as well as fining him £5,000.
What the former Labour immigration minister says is now front-page news.
The Labour MP David Lammy MP wants Parliament to ignore the EU referendum result. He wants Parliament to go against the will of the people, the majority of whom voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The people who rejected the establishment, the liberal elite, the knowing celebrities, the multi-nationals, the doom-mongers and the bankers got it wrong, says Lammy, a member of a Party divorced from its once core vote. Says the self-regarding one:
Wake up. We do not have to do this.
We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign’s platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn’t voted to Leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson.
He’s right. The European Referendum is non biding. The vote is not law. What it was was a free and fair vote on staying in or leaving the European Union. Lammy doesn’t much like the result. He says the people cannot be trusted to make the right decision. They made a mistake. So he wants them to be ignored. He wants change stopped.
A US readers has written in. He puts it well:
CONGRATULATIONS !!! Leaving the EU has been too long in coming. We have a similar situation here in the USA. For us Washington D.C. is about identical to the EU leadership with re: to their relationship with all the individual states. An entrenched cadre of infinitely corrupt career politicians control or try to control every aspect of our lives from fortress Washington D.C. just as the EU leadership has imposed their will on Great Britain and other EU member countries. The politicians keep getting richer while our middle class is dying along with many small towns all across our country. Our fast growing national debt tells the story. The politicians are spending money we don’t have to shore up their power. Anyway so very happy for your good fortune.
Lammy thinks you’re idiots. You are if you listen to him.
For those of you who missed the moment when Kerry and her family went to Thorpe Park, on June 6 the Daily Mail published 21 photos of Kerry and Molly on their family day out. The Mail announced in a headline: “Molly McFadden can’t hide her delight as she enjoys rollercoaster ride at Thorpe Park with her mother.”
Now on June 23, the Mail tells is readers, “It was only on social media that things escalated, with Molly being criticised for her weight and Kerry’s parenting skills called into question.”
Curse that social media for fomenting upset and those “vile” comments. It’s nothing like the, er, online Daily Mail, whereon you can read comments like:
Her daughter is seriously overweight, people get sensitive when it comes to weight and children – but her health is already at risk from a very young age. If anything she should take this as a wake up call.
Molly shouldn’t be in the papers- Kerry shouldn’t put herself in that position with her family.
A cruel, mean, bullying article very loosely & badly disguised as a ‘fun day out’ article.
You nasty cruel bunch. Publishing some unflattering images of a young girl, making out the story is all about her having a jolly day out. . Do you all feel better about yourselves now DM ? Having a rubbish Monday and thought you would have a laugh at a 14 year old girls expense ?! That’s plain Nasty
Nice to see her spending time with her daughters. She needs to keep an eye on Molly’s weight though.
Children don’t get to be that size when they’re happy so she’s comfort eating to deal with her issues and the blame for that lies squarely with her mother.
The little girl looks troubled
Those online trolls, eh.
Daily Star (page 8): “Peado MP’s New Links to Maddie”
The paedo MP is the alleged paedophile MP Sir Clement Freud. He’s dead. He’s no longer an MP. Indeed, when he was alive he was not a known paedo, either. For a man who achieved celebrity and popularity in his lifetime, Freud’s post-breathing career has been disappointing.
The Star says that “bombshell emails” between Freud and Kate and Gerry McCann will be investigated as part of the police probe into the dead man’s alleged crimes against children. The former BBC TV broadcaster reached out to the McCanns when their daughter vanished. He had a home in Portugal not far when were Madeleine went missing. Kate says Freud “cheered her up”. Now a “source close to the family” says: “They took it at face value that he sympathised with their situation. They did not see anything sinister in his behaviour.”
You wonder what sinister intent he might have had? The mind boggles.
Daily Mail (Page 8): “Freud ‘drank in resort bar with ex-Maddie suspect'”.
Who is this former suspect? Why, it’s the entirely innocent Robert Murat, the poor sod libelled by sections of the British press. The Mail says the “paedophile ex-MP” – now a fact, apparently – “was said to have been on ‘nodding terms’ with Robert Murat”. What happened to Murat and Freud being drinking buddies, drinking “with” each other?
The Mail says the “ex-MP’s local was dubbed the Plough and Paedophile”. It’s the Plough and Harrow, dubbed a haven for child molesters after a Briton working at the pub “went on the run after police tried to talk to him about allegations of child sex abuse images and grooming”.
But that is not where Murat drank. The pub Freud and Murat visited – but not together – is called the Pig’s Head. The landlord, one Robert Hurst, has been speaking with the Sun. That paper reports:
Freud, who was unmasked as a child abuser last week, was also a regular at a pub in Praia da Luz dubbed The Plough and Paedophile. The fact Freud and Murat knew each other is one in a series of odd links that the dead former Liberal MP had to the McCanns. He had also entertained Gerry and Kate at his house in the days after Madeleine disappeared in 2007.
Is that an odd link – two Britishers abroad on the Med frequenting the same local pub? Murat is innocent. The Sun features a photo of him and the caption “Prime suspect…Murat was later cleared by cops.” So, he’s not a prime suspect, then. He’s not a suspect at all. He was an arguido, much as the McCanns were branded. They too were libelled in the British Press. They too must be presumed innocent. There are no suspects in the case of Madeleine McCann. But there are victims who have been tarnished by association.
Robert Hurst, landlord of the Pigs Head, said: “I find that really odd. I can’t imagine why he would suddenly want to invite them to his house. At the time Madeleine went, all hell was going on. Police everywhere, people just stunned and he’s straight in there having them over to dinner. When it came out this week that he was a paedophile, it made you wonder what he was up to?”
Back in the Mail, we hear of Vicky Hayes, “one of Sir Clement’s victims”, who says she told the police of Freud after she read of his befriending the McCanns in Kate McCann’s book. She was “convinced he was part of a paedophile rings operating in the Algarve”. The paper notes that Freud’s son, Matthew, says his dad was in the UK when the child vanished.
Some claims can’t be hard to prove. The rest of it invites nothing but speculation.
Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed and shot outside her surgery in Yorkshire. Many reports claim her alleged killer yelled “Britain First” before striking.
A 52-year-old man, named as Thomas Mair, has been arrested. What do we know about him? The Guardian notes:
Neighbours say suspect, named locally as Thomas Mair, would help them with gardening and did voluntary work
His half brother, who is mixed race, claimed he had been volunteering at a school for children with disabilities for several years and had never expressed any racist views.
The paper says he has “mental health issues”.
Nick Gannon, 33, who lived two doors away from Mair, has known him since he was 10 years old…”He was friendly. If you said hello to him, he would say hello back. He was not aggressive or anything. He wasn’t frightening.”
Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave have stopped their campaigns.
Britain First have moved to distance themselves from the assassination:
On twitter, a few voices sense a conspiracy:
Staying with the Guardian, Polly Tonybee knows why it happened. Even with no access to police records and interviews, she knows:
This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify…
Her words drip in bias and opportunism. She mentioned Hitler, and how a goon or goons in “my local Labour councillor in Camden, north London” stuck a neo-Nazi stickers on their car windscreen. She records the words on the flyer: “This is a lave [leave] area. We hate the foriner. Nex time do not park your car with remain sign on. Hi Hitler. White Power.”
Others have been more erudite on racism and Hitler, people like Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Labour MP Naz Shah, both of whom Tonybee does not mention. She does, however have a point to make about right-wingers, apparently keen to paint Brexit voters as bigots:
It’s been part of a noxious brew, with a dangerous anti-politics and anti-MP stereotypes fomented by leave and their media backers mixed in. Only an hour before this shooting Nigel Farage unveiled a huge poster showing Syrian refugees fleeing to Slovenia last year, nothing to do with EU free movement – and none arriving here. Leave’s poster read: “Breaking Point. We must break free from the EU and take control of our borders.” Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and many others condemned it as “disgusting”, and so it is…
This campaign has stirred up anti-migrant sentiment that used to be confined to outbursts from the far fringes of British politics. The justice minister, Michael Gove, and the leader of the house, Chris Grayling – together with former London mayor Boris Johnson – have allied themselves to divisive anti-foreigner sentiment ramped up to a level unprecedented in our lifetime. Ted Heath expelled Enoch Powell from the Tory front ranks for it. Oswald Mosley was ejected from his party for it. Gove and Grayling remain in the cabinet.
This is a new low. A woman is dead. Murdered. And people are using using her death to campaign for the EU Referendum. On twitter, we know what we get, but in the national Press we should expect better.
‘Paedophile’ Sir Clement Freud lived close to where Madeleine McCann went missing as police ‘urged to probe link’
Sir Clement Freund, who died in 2009, was a paedophile? The Mirror wants us to consider it. But it’s uncertain if the dead man molested or raped or kidnapped children so it’s placed the word “paedophile” inside inverted commas. How fair is that.
Freud is believed to have sexually abused girls as young as 11, a documentary has claimed, and invited the McCanns to his Portuguese villa after she disappeared
Believed. By whom and why? And – get this – Freud reached out to the McCanns after not before their child vanished.
First up, we can look at who says the dead man did criminal things to innocent children.
Sylvia Woosley, now in her late seventies, said she was repeatedly assaulted by Freud over 60 years ago. A second woman claimed the former star of Radio 4’s Just a Minute panel game raped her aged 18 after years of grooming that included taking her on trips to the House of Commons.
Just a Minute is on the BBC. It’s a hat-trick of the tabloids game of Paedo Hunt for Freud: MP. Tick. BBC employee. Tick. Dead. Tick.
Former Crown Prosecution Service chief Nazir Afzal told the ITV Exposure programme that Freud, who died in 2009 aged 84, would have been charged with child sex offences based on Sylvia’s case if he was still alive.
He said: “I would have no doubt there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Sir Clement Freud.”
What the current CPS chief thinks we are not told. But it’s good to see Afzal finds life after service as TV pundit. Can Sylvia’s claims be tested?
Freud’s widow Jill, now 89, said in response to the film: “This is a very sad day for me. I was married to Clement for 58 years and loved him dearly. I am shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry for what has happened to these women. I sincerely hope they will now have some peace.”
Now back to the paper’s ‘Our Maddie’ news:
‘Paedophile’ Sir Clement Freud had a villa in the resort Madeleine McCann vanished from and befriended her parents in the weeks after she went missing. Detectives investigating the three-year-old’s disappearance from in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 have been alerted to the revelation and are reportedly expected to assess the new information before deciding if it may be relevant to the inquiry.
Did the McCanns ever visit with Freud?
They were invited to his house twice after Madeleine vanished and kept in contact by phone and email…. Writing about their first meeting – two months after Madeleine vanished – Kate wrote in her book Madeleine: “I’m usually very intimidated by people with brains the size of planets but Clement was incredibly warm, funny and instantly likeable.”
He had cooked a watercress and egg salad followed by a chicken and mushroom risotto which was “the best risotto we’ve ever tasted before or since”.
He invited them for dinner again in September that year but they cancelled because they had been named arguidos in the investigation. But they did go to his house for drinks later in the evening and he was dressed in a nightshirt watching a cookery show.
The depraved old bast…
Kate wrote of the meeting: “He gave me one of his looks and a giant glass of brandy, and managed to get a smile out of me with his greeting: ‘So, Kate, which of the devout Catholic, alcoholic, depressed, nymphomaniac parts is correct?’ Clement cheered us up with his lugubrious wit, and would continue to do so by email after his return to England,” she added.
The Telegraph has more: “Sir Clement Freud exposed as a paedophile as police urged to probe Madeleine McCann links.”
Exposed? Surely it has been alleged or claimed.
Sir Clement Freud, the former broadcaster and politician, was exposed on Tuesday night as a paedophile who sexually abused girls as young as 10 for decades.
Sylvia Woosley said Freud befriended her family in 1948, when he was working at a hotel in the South of France, and started abusing her when she was 10.
Four years later, following a family crisis, her mother asked Freud and his wife Jill if they would look after Mrs Woosley, and she found herself living under the same roof as her abuser, being brought up as a daughter. The abuse continued until she managed to move away when she was 19…
A second woman wishes to remain anonymous. She alleges:
Another woman told ITV that Freud started abusing her in the 1970s, when she was 11, and eventually raped her when she was 18, by which time he was a Liberal MP sharing an office with Cyril Smith, who was also unmasked as a paedophile after his death. The rape was so brutal that his victim bled for a week.
The Telegraph than adds this to the dead man’s history:
With his finger on the capital’s showbiz pulse he helped propel a number of young acts to stardom and later boasted of being the first person to book the now disgraced entertainer, Rolf Harris.
The Sun: “NEW INFORMATION ‘Paedophile’ Sir Clement Freud lived close to where Madeleine McCann went missing – as TV doc makes startling claims”
Startling claims made by TV show. Yes.
Such are the facts.
Russian thugs are in France for the Euros. The Star says 150 of the “hyper-violent” Russian Ultras are “on their way to ambush England fans again”. Surely to ambush people you need the element of surprise. The only surprising thing these goons are capable of is breathing with their mouths closed.
The Star says the goons have given “bungling” French police “the slip”. The paper posts a picture of what appears to be pre-steroid Ultras division. The Mirror goes for the more pumped up version on its front page, and the news is no less inflated. The hooligans are “ULTRA EVIL”. They are “planning to attack the England v Wales match”. They are reportedly supported by Russian MP Igor Lebedev, who the Mirror says tweeted, “Well done, lads, keep it up.”
Over page 4 and 5 we get more from Igor: “I don’t see anything wrong with the fans fighting. quite the opposite, well done lads, keep it up.”
As General Igor urges more aggro from his Moscow hilltop, we read that a few Russian Ultras were stopped at the airport, but other “slipped away from Marseilles by train”. You might wonder how anyone can slip anywhere in a country monitored by CCTV and armed police on the look out for jihadis.
We also read of Andrew Bache, 51, an England fan batted by Russian with an iron bar by Russian fans. He is in medically induced coma. Perhaps Igor can send him a card?
The Sun says Russians chanted “DIE! DIE! DIE! as Mr Bache lay on the ground.
And then we see an oddity. On Page 4 Joey Barton tells how he “feared for his safety” on the street of Marseilles as he came face-to-face with the Russian nutters. He as “petrified”. His pals had a “”young lad” with them. Readers may recall that this is same Joey Barton who in 2008 was jailed for assault and affray. Barton was caught on CCTV in Liverpool punching one man 20 times before an attack which left a teenage boy with broken teeth. Judge Henry Globe QC said it was a “violent and cowardly act”.
Finally, we note that six England fans were jailed over hooliganism in Marseilles. There are not Ultras. But they are ultra thick.
To Bellevue, Ohio, where the local Police Department bring news of Ashley England (right above), Mary Jordan (left above), and Sammie Whaley. The trip were arrested on June 8 for allegedly assaulting a female McDonald’s worker “because she was working too slowly when dealing with three woman and their family and friends from Sandusky Ohio.”
Thanks to the use of security video, three arrests have been made in a physical altercation yesterday, 6/8/2016 at McDonalds here in Bellevue involving a female employee being assaulted in the parking lot because she was working too slowly when dealing with three woman and their family and friends from Sandusky Ohio.
This afternoon Ashley England, Mary Jordan and Sammie Whaley were arrested and taken into custody by Bellevue Police. England was charged with assault, theft and child endangerment. Jordan was charged with assault and child endangerment. England and Jordan’s child endangerment charges are due to the fact they had their children present with them and participating in the incident. Whaley was also charged with assault.
File under: fast food and slow minds.
In Orlando, Florida, more than 50 people have been murdered in a massacre carried out by one Omar Saddiqui Mateen. The killer struck at a gay nightclub called Pulse. The story goes that he didn’t like gays.
Approximately 50 people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in what appears to be the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
At least 53 more people were injured, he said.
Some of the injured are very badly hurt:
The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.
Mateen was born and raised in the US. His parents arrived in the US from Afghanistan. His father tells media:
Mir Seddique, Mateen’s father, told NBC News, “this has nothing to do with religion.” Seddique said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting.
Nothing to do with Islam.
But why were the The FBI watching him?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation at one point opened an investigation into Mateen but subsequently closed the case when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.
The BBC notes:
There are “suggestions” the gunman had “leanings towards” radical Islamist ideology, the FBI says.
There will be more suggestions made.
If you’ll forgive a bit of skepticism on my part, that sounds unlikely. I’m not saying that Seddiqui couldn’t have been anti-gay. (Islamic terrorists aren’t exactly known for taking part in pride parades, after all.) But that’s a pretty violent reaction for having “seen two men kissing.” The guy lives in northern Florida and this is the first time in almost thirty years he’s run across two gay guys engaging in a PDA?
The shooter’s ex-wife adds: “He was not a stable person. He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
Much more to follow…
You will remember all that stuff about football fans being “slum people watching a slum sport“. You will remember how casting all football fans as scum who deserved to be caged was what led to Hillsborough, when police sent for the attacks dogs as fans corralled into a too-small terrace not fit for purpose gasped for life.
Football fans were the Untermenschen on which all new methods of control could be tested. One doctor present at Hillsborough said the only difference ID cards could have made that day was to make it easier to identify the young corpses.
You remember that?
As the truth emerged after a mere 27 years years of waiting for the State-sanctioned police lies to dissolve, the Hillsborough campaigners calls for justice were dampened by a wall of sanctimonious bilge about their fight being a great day for Britain, a triumph of law and modernity, how today’s political, police and media elite had “learned lessons” to ensure “it will never happen again”. But we didn’t have to wait long before the same old dislike of football fans to seep out. Guardian readers were told “The authorities failed Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. But so did the real hooligans.”
What hooligans? The fans who ran amuck when Luton Town played Millwall? The Liverpool fans who charged Juventus fans at Heysel, causing a stampede and a wall in a dilapidated stadium to break, killing 39? Yes, we know there were acts of hooliganism. But there was no aggro as the fans at Hillsborough died. The police were not attacked. Fans did not urinate on corpses and rob from the dead, as the Sun claimed (and finally apologised for). In the cages, the innocent begged for help. The police replied by forming ranks, by forcing the desperate fans back into the pens, by looking like an Army. They put on a show of force and menace as the innocent died.
Sticking with the Guardian, in today’s edition Dawn Foster writes beneath the headline “The Queen’s birthday has unleashed a pernicious new patriotism”. Her Majesty is 90. Foster is unimpressed and offended:
“…the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday have crept up; if you’re lucky, you’ll suffer nothing more than a bombardment of Union Jacks this weekend – but many of us will experience something much worse: the performative cheeriness of the street party.
Friends of mine who live in areas where street parties are in the works have, without exception, reported that the people responsible are the perennially furious residents who spend most of their lives in a rage about parking. Shifting their attention from the contentious temporary ownership of asphalt, they have decided the neighbourhood needs to commemorate the birthday of a 90-year-old woman none of the residents have met.
It is all sneery stuff.
The party will follow the usual template: tea, cupcakes, flags upon flags upon flags, wartime slogans and songs, and the performance of a very specific type of Englishness – the Englishness of Fry and Laurie rather than This Is England. One harks back to the empire while the other attempts social realism.
This kind of middle-class nationalism, rooted in a confected history of postwar austerity, has been resurgent in the years since the last royal wedding. The ubiquity of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster is the most obvious symbol…
And then football fans get a kicking. The old hatred is back:
Nationalism now has two faces: that of the far right, signified by a certain sort of caricature of a football supporter and England flags, and now the middle-class right, posh enough to wear chinos while raising a glass to “her maj” in front of a Union Jack. The two aren’t entirely separate: the former is openly racist, the latter a frequent apologist for the British empire.
The football fan wrapped in and England flag and replica kit is “openly racist”, says Foster. In short, the England fans are scum, slum people, the embodiment of everything the knowing liberal elite despise.
Lessons learned? Never again? Nothing of it. The knowing have just found new ways to control the working-classes they deride. Don’t say that. Don’t sing this. Sit down. Pay up. Stay home and watch it on the telly because the seats have been made too pricy for you.
Let’s all have a street party. It’s part of British culture. It’s what the British do. If you want to serve humus, wear a Mexican hat, cheer for the French or tell everyone they’re sad losers, you can. Live and let live is part of the same culture.
Now, where is that flag and Jamie Vardy mask? C’mon In-ger-land. If we win, we’re having a party…in the street, the fountain, the shopping precinct, the hospital…
Writing in the Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie praises the readers who saved money on their household insurance with a website called aspokesmansaid.com.
MacKenzie goes into some detail on how the savings were made.
At no point in the story does Kelvin Mackenzie tell readers that the site was founded by one…Kelvin MacKenzie.
For reasons of space, Kelvin is unable to mention other money-saving websites in this week’s column.
Such are the facts.
Rachel Telfa, 31, and Nayomi Fee, 29, murdered their two-year-old son, Liam Fee, by beating him to death in March 2014. The couple were in a civil partnership. Telfa was the child’s birth mother. Both women denied killing Liam. There is every chance they still think they did nothing wrong. Indeed, as Trelfa was found guilty of murdering her son, she mouthed “I did not”. The tabloids report:
Daily Mirror (front page): “MOTHERS OF ALL EVIL”
That’s an odd headline given that the women were the mothers not of evil, rather an innocent child.
Page 4-5: “NOW CAGE THEM”
Well, that seems likely. The women – or one of them; the court could not decide which – hit Liam so hard in the abdomen his heart ruptured. Fee and Telfa tried to pin the blame on a six-year-old boy, one of two boys other than Liam who seem to have been living with the couple in Fife, Scotland. The women were found guilty of abusing the two other boys, including keeping one in a cage, forcing them to eat dog poo and vomit, and mentally torturing them. Fee told one she had killed his father with a drill she kept to castrate young boys.
In order to implicate the innocent boy in Liam’s murder, Fee shoved his hands into the dead’s boy’s mouth to leave traces of his DNA on the corpse. When paramedics arrived she told them Liam had been strangled by the other child.
We then get to know more of the killers’ lives. The Mirror says the women got drunk “and watched Shameless on TV”. It wasn’t all bad telly because the paper says Telfa kept a horse at riding stables. We get the lowlights, but the normality escapes reporting. It is the ordinary that helped mask their crimes.
In Voice of The Mirror, the women are labelled “monsters”. They are not. They are human beings. That’s what makes them terrifying.
The paper than tries to make some point. It says the killers “demonstrated sadistic women can be as depraved as violent men”. Why not violent women and sadistic men? Why is this even worth saying? The story has nothing to do with men behaving badly. Indeed, the only men to feature in it are the judge who found the women guilty and Liam’s father, Joseph Johnson, 33, who “sobbed uncontrollably” in court.
The Sun (Page 9): Tortured to death”
Liam was killed my his mum and “her lesbian partner”. He had more than 30 injuries, including “two broken legs and fractured arms”. As they were found guilty, the women “showed no emotion”. But the Times said Trelfa spoke out.
The Sun says the innocent 6-year-old framed for the killing “initially admitted he had strangled” Liam. It was only under questioning by police that the whole story came out. The child – not social services – cracked the case. He said Fee would make him lies on the floor. She’d place his foot on his next until he passed out. She beat him often.
Daily Express (Page 21): ” Lesbian loves face life for savage murder of Liam, 2″
The killers’ sexual orientation is to the fore. Sadly, the facts are less certain from there. The Express says the boy bullied into claiming he had killed Liam is age 7. Fee told one boy she killed his father not with a drill, as the Sun claims, rather with a “saw”. Fee and Trelfa are not merely “lovers”, they are a married couple, tying the knot in 2012.
Daily Mail (Page 6-7): “Lesbian couple battered son, 2, so brutally his heart ruptured”.
The Mail places the State in the dock:
Horrific failings by social services were exposed yesterday as a mother and her civil partner were found guilty of murdering her two-year-old son.
Liam was failed.
Karen Pedder, a manager with Fife Council, told the court a caseworker had been assigned to investigate reports of abuse after the concerns were first raised in January 2013.
But a social worker and a police officer sent to visit the family had accepted the ‘plausible explanation’ given that he had simply bumped his head. The social worker who had been dealing with Liam’s case then went off sick in April and it was not looked at again until the nursery got in touch in June, she said.
During cross-examination, Rachel Fee’s defence counsel Brian McConnachie asked: ‘What seems to have happened here is basically, as far as Liam is concerned, this case just went off the radar?’
Mrs Pedder replied: ‘It did. Yes.’ She said a case would normally be reviewed after about four weeks, but this had not happened.
Hideous stuff. And what also hurts is that Liam Johnson was renamed Liam Fee, forced to carry the name of his abuser. Our thoughts must be with his father.
Compare and contrast the Daily Mail’s reporting on Becky Nicholson’s wedding to Leicester City and England footballer Jamie Vardy and Camilla Parker Bowles marriage to Prince Charles.
Alison Boschoff and Andy Dolan write on the Becky-Jamie alliance:
The most brazen WAG of all: Three children by three dads. A fling with Peter Andre. No wonder England football hero Jamie Vardy’s parents won’t be at his wedding…
For Vardy’s mother Lisa and stepfather Phil — who has raised him since he was a baby — will not be there because they do not approve of their son’s choice of wife, a glossy, risque brunette named Becky Nicholson…
So, what’s the problem? Well, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Becky, who will be gliding down the aisle in a £5,000 traditional white dress, is anything but a blushing bride. For she has not only been married once before as a teenager, but has also gone on to have two children by two other men….
As is perhaps customary when a high-profile footballer makes it official with a WAG, Hello! magazine will be in attendance, with its sizeable chequebook and security retinue…
Since Jamie’s rise to fame she has kept her colourful mouth shut, except when there is a cheque in it for her.
Now enjoy “Charles and Camilla: Married at last“. Charles, who may recalls was cheating on his wife, Princess Diana, with married mum-of-two Camilla. Charles once expressed a desire to be Camilla’s tampon. Cheating Charles, heir apparent and with it a defender of the faith and good morals, had a civil ceremony with Cheating Camilla, and then scored a televised Anglican blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Charles’s parents did not attend the marriage ceremony.
Charles and Camilla were in the ancient surroundings of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, for the service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of more than 700 guests. Earlier they had married in more humble surroundings in the Windsor Register Office, with just 28 guests but without the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duchess of Cornwall changed into a porcelain blue silk dress with hand painted ikat design, hand embroidered with gold thread work, for the blessing of her marriage this afternoon.
The designers’ starting point was the Duchess’s comment that she liked the style of the velvet dress they had designed for her to wear for the gala night at the Royal Opera House…
At the reception, the Duchess wore a court shoe with a soft point toe and a 5.5cm heel in pale grey shot silk…
She carried a small, simple elegant floral bouquet bound with silk from her dress. Auricular flowers in dusty shades of greys and creams with touches of gold had been mixed with clusters of Lily of the Valley both for the scent and the sentiment…
The flowers were cut from English plants later to be grown in the gardens at Highgrove. A sprig of myrtle, representing happy marriage, was sent from a well wisher in Cornwall for the bouquet.
And what colour dress did chaste Camilla wear to that civil wedding to the down-at-heel Prince?
Good job Camilla’s not like that Becky. But if she wants to get the “brassy” look, the Mail is here to help her. Below photos of Becky in her undies – “Blushing bride: Rebekah appeared in a downmarket newspaper modelling ‘wedding lingerie’ (pictured)” – the Mail offers readers the chances to “GET THE LOOK” and “Say ‘I do’ like Becky in bridal lingerie”:
It’s not about money, readers. No. It’s about class…
Heard the one about the baby bison looking for love in Yellowstone National Park?
Karen Richardson of Victor, Idaho, was one of several parents chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip to Yellowstone this week.
Richardson says on Monday, as students were being taught at Lamar Buffalo Ranch, a father and son pulled up at the ranger station with a bison calf in their SUV.
“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”
Rob Heusevelet, a father of a student, told the men to remove the bison from their car and warned they could be in trouble for having the animal.
“They didn’t care,” Heusevelet says. “They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold.”
Yellowstone rangers tells us what then happened
Last week in Yellowstone National Park, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and transporting it to a park facility because of their misplaced concern for the animal’s welfare.
In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring.
In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.
Phew! Good job the experts were there…
The Sun has been telling us for months that Manchester United are to sack Louis Van Gaal and manager and replace him with Jose Mourinho. The paper’s Neil Ashton finds another reason to undermine the hammer-headed Dutchman’s leadership:
JESSE LINGARD’S video from the team bus gave an insight into life under boss Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Discipline, once a bastion of this great club under Alex Ferguson, has pretty much disappeared under the Dutchman. Lingard’s 28-second film of the chaotic scenes inside the coach ferrying United’s players to West Ham on Tuesday is proof of that.
Lingard is a wally. Videoing himself on the team bus as it was pelted by beer cans tossed by West Ham fans and then posting the video on social media was the mark of a fool. Should United need a new coach – yes, that one with wheels and an improved SatNav – they might consider getting Lingard a car seat, such as the Mothercare Sport Car Seat in red with an integral harness, soft padded body, head support cushion, and chest and buckle pads. To blame Van Gaal for a 26-year-old using social media is madness.
As for the Sun warning against the perils of mobile phone abuse and linking it to poor leadership – the bucks tops with the boss – well, let’s just say we wish former Sun and NoTW editor Rebekah Brooks (innocent of all any any involvement in her underlings’ phone hacking and ill discipline) well in her new job as head of News Corp.
Ashton goes on.
With Lingard larking around, it showed how slack these players have become. Imagine Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or Peter Schmeichel sticking their tongue out and shouting for “mommy” in similar circumstances.
That dressing room, which accounted for 13 Premier League titles during Fergie’s rule, used to police itself. When someone overstepped the mark or broke the rules, the big voices at United would close in on them. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand or Keano saw to that.
To say nothing of lawyers:
To say nothing of it being the era before smart phones and social media:
Ashton ploughs on:
When Lingard took the trouble to send his footage to some friends, who helpfully posted it on social media, his amateur video went viral.
Sadly for Van Gaal, who is still trying to figure it all out at United, it showed another side to events at Upton Park.
Ill-discipline is rife inside the United camp.
Or as Roy Keane put it:
Asked by ShortList if Ferguson ever had words over his drinking, Keane said: “Oh, of course. And quite rightly. This idea that me and Ferguson just had one bust up right at the end… We had loads! We had disagreements about my drinking, as fans are happy to report you if you’re spotted out at 3am. But if we had a game on a Wednesday and the manager said to me, ‘I heard you were out Sunday night,’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, I go out Sundays.’ I was single, I was 21. I wasn’t a golfer. Drinking was my hobby, I suppose. I’m not giving it the thumbs up, but it was my trait. I don’t know why – because I’m Irish, maybe, because I lived by myself. Boredom kicked in.”
Such are the facts…
Do you trust machines? Would you buy a driverless car? To Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, where a 23-year-old woman who followed her car’s SatNav instructions ended up in a harbour.
Ontario Provincial Police say the driver “took a wrong turn into Little Tub Harbour… weather conditions and the driver being new to the area, a fully submerged vehicle was the result,” police said. The woman escaped by sliding from the car’s window and swimming 30 metres to the shore in 4°C water.
Zimmerman Sells Gun Used In Trayvon Martin Death
The gun belongs to the shooter.
Maybe a museum will buy it. In 2015, the BBC reported:
An assault rifle used in seven unsolved murders has been discovered on public display at the Imperial War Museum. BBC Panorama has learned that investigators re-examining paramilitary murders in Northern Ireland found the gun on display in an exhibit on the Troubles. The families of the murder victims had previously been told by the police that they had disposed of the weapon… Forensic tests conducted in the 1990s showed the rifle was one of two weapons used in an attack on a Belfast betting shop in 1992. Five Catholics, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in the attack on the Ormeau Road by Protestant paramilitaries. The rifle has also been linked to the unsolved murders of two other men in 1988.
Is the Zimmerman gun an American artefact? He says:
“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American firearm icon. The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012.”
We will know its value by its sale price. Zimmerman can sell it – but let’s see who buys it and for how much.
Said Manchester United fan Holmes: “Now this is going back to the 70s and to the 80s to everything you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough for instance.”
No, Eamonn. Everything bad about Hillsborough was caused by a corrupt police, media and State treating football as a “slum sport watched by slum people“. The elite then spent 27 years blaming the victims for their own deaths at a football match.
We all know the Truth about Hillsborough. Only a fool or swine would deny it. It took the longest jury case in British legal history to clear supporters of any blame for the tragedy. The 96 had been unlawfully killed due to “a catalogue of failings by the police and ambulance services”.
Hillsborough had nothing to do with hooliganism. Sad, indeed, that police and media lies continue to pervade the Holmes brain matter. Not that he gets it. He tweeted:
“Just being made aware of someone trying to use me to stir up trouble re The Hillsborough disaster. How low, how disgusting. The Hillsborough families have suffered enough without distasteful sniping like this. For the record there is no comparison between events last night at West Ham and Hillsborough. On the programme I was trying to talk about images we never ever want to see again.”
Eamonn, who made the comparison, is outraged that anyone could make so disgusting a comparison. He’s the victim. Got it? He then softened a little, tweeting:
“I apologise unreservedly if anyone thought I was making that connection.”
Spot that “if”. If you twisted his words and thought something disgusting, then he apologises for your wrong thinking. It’s a wonderfully dishonest form of apology, the non-denial denial.
And spare us the outrage from big media. The police and elite hate football fans, the frothing mob they seek to control in ever more insidious ways. From being penned in physically in the 1980s, football fans are now regulated in more conniving ways. Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough tragedy didn’t only order the removal of the metal posts and pens that trapped so many at Hillsborough. He noted: “This inhospitable scene tends to breed bad manners and poor behaviour.” The old fans were to be kicked out with the old concrete grounds. To make football safe for the new, wealthier fans, you can no longer booze and smoke in the stands, swear, sing what you want to, stand or engage in anything another human being – most likely a steward – deems offensive to mind and body. And it’s expensive. The police still treat football fans as criminals-in-waiting, enacting kettling, bubble-match restrictions and Section 27 orders.
After the verdict was delivered and the heroic survivors and the loved ones of the dead who had fought the lies breathed, the Guardian wrote, “The authorities failed the Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. But so did the real hooligans.” No. Fans played no part in the crime, other than to be the victims. Spare us the thought that fans who had a drink and were rowdy, who called the police “murdering bastards” should be stained with such horror. You don’t go out with your mates to the match to be prudes and saintly. You go to let off steam and enjoy yourself.
You want justice for the 96. The media says the bereaved got it. They didn’t. They haven’t. Not yet.
This picture may only be used within the context of the Hillsborough court case. An undated file showing the tunnel at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, shown to the jury at Leeds Crown Court. * ...at a private prosecution brought by the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and Superintendent Bernard Murray deny the manslaughter of two of the victims of the disaster at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.
Goncalo Amaral is back in the news. The former Portuguese detective has won an appeal against his libel defeat to Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The court order for him to pay the McCanns £395,000 in damages in April 2015 has been overturned. The Press pick up the story of Amaral and his 2008 book, The Truth of the Lie, in which he accuses the McCanns of “faking Madeleine’s abduction to cover up her accidental death in their apartment” (Star).
Daily Star (front page): “Maddie: Cop Wains Right To Accuse Parents”
“A banned book which accuse Madeleine’s McCanns parents of covering up her death will go on sale across Europe after a shock ruling by three appal court judge in Portugal yesterday,” writes Jerry Lawton. No shock here, at least not to Anorak readers. Back in 2010, AGW told you:
The media awaits the verdict of McCanns Versus Goncalo Amaral. Much depends on it. The McCanns have taken a risk in going against the former police officer in a foreign country. While it can be argued – as they have done – that any publicity for their missing daughter is good because it keeps her name alive in the voracious media.
But it does not keep us looking for the child. It just allows us to gawp at them, the distraught parents of a missing innocent:
YOU know when an accident is going to happen. They even have corporate speak phrases for it these days: “Risk Assessment” is one.
You know when a playing kitten is going to fall from the arm of the chair, you know when the child is going trip and fall, no matter how quick you are to try and get there.
Sometimes you see disasters being created and thundering, in silent-movie slowed down train-wreck style, toward you or others and there’s little you can do other than stand and watch horror-struck by the enormity of it all.
You know the accident’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do but perhaps wonder why you knew?
It has nothing to do with sixth senses, it is because the most powerful computer known to man, your brain, has gathered in all the previous experiences you have weighed in the balance and made a predictive analysis.
That is what is so strange about the current and past behaviour of the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann.
They have started a court action defending their reputations in Lisbon because the former chief investigating officer Goncalo Amara, is accusing them of being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They have also started an action seeking a money settlement for the Portuguese equivalent of libel and in addition are taking on a Lisbon-based documentary production unit for reporting on the detective’s objected to book and the case.
Lisbon was never going to be a perfect spot for the McCann’s to start legal sparring and this week they were dealt what can only be termed a body-blow when the detective’s lawyers produced evidence the UK’s top criminal profiler has said there were “contradictions” in their statements and both should be treated as possible “homicide” suspects.
No arguments, no amount of reshuffling or clarifications can change that and the facts can not be forced back into the can of worms which the McCann parents themselves have allowed to be opened.
The background PR work after the Lisbon shocker has been impressive. The McCann lawyers strode from the courtroom and counter-claimed there were tens, hundreds or more sightings of the missing girl. The UK’s Red Tops dutifully followed the thread and reported the lawyer’s statement. My experience and training gave the brain the predictive text that this looked like a smoke screen, a damage limitation. The missing fact was all these sightings came after the McCann’s themselves had been released from Arguido, suspect, status. The case was archived. It was a cold, leading nowhere, case in the eyes of the top legal and police professionals in Portugal…the responsible authorities have no clues and have suspended work on the case.
It has already been said in these columns, taking on the Portuguese legal system was going to be a minefield but there is one question:
Who is taking the responsibility for the Risk Assessment for this McCann course of action?
Whoever it was needs to be replaced or kept out of the limelight.
Mass public opinion is turning. The McCanns are slipping lower and lower down the celebs’ to be seen with list, certainly no-longer A list and slightly embarrassing to be around according to some whispers.
The McCanns are innocent. No charges have been brought against anyone…except the Chief Investigating Police Officer, Goncalo Amaral.
A second question would have to be: Who on earth took the Risk Assessment decision Amaral was a buffoon an incompetent, bungling, Jacques Clouseau Pink Panther type of police officer?
Come on, wake up! Police officers do not rise through the ranks to positions of authority without being good thief-takers and being very good at spotting the wrongness of something.
Amaral is tougher than the baying section of Britain’s media has portrayed.
The McCanns are becoming battered and worn by this. Just look at their recent photographs. The child is still missing, lost, gone. Arguments still rage over the rightness or wrongness of it all.
Something is judgementally wrong in the Risk Assessments taken here. This week has been hugely damaging to the McCann’s and their cause. The information given this week in the Lisbon court can no longer be ignored or forgotten. It will have a high cost and one of the costs are potential new helpers and donations to the campaign of finding the child.
Daily Star Page 7: “Maddie SHOCK”
The Portuguese appeal court judges “ordered” the McCanns to pay “full legal fees of the three-year hearing”. The McCanns have “instructed lawyers to appeal against the new ruling”. But the judges call Amaral’s book a “legitimate exercise in the right to express an opinion”. Portugal was once a police state. Free speech is enshrined. The lawyers’ appeal looked doomed.
We then get a rapid-fire vox pop. The McCanns deny Amaral’s claims. A “pal” says they are “seething”. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell says, “It is a matter for Kate and Gerry’s lawyers to deal with .”
The Sun (front page): “MADDIE: Agony for McCanns as cop wins libel case”
Page 4: “Hunt Hit By Cash Crisis – Maddie £430k Libel Loss Blow – Tec wins against McCanns”
The payment “deprives the Maddie Fund o9f cash to keep the nine-year search going”. Private cash. But not public purse monies. That continues to be spent on the search.
Daily Mirror (Page 7): “Bungling cop in libel triumph over the McCanns”
Is every policeman who fails to solve a case a bungler?
And then we get to the money. The cash Amaral was ordered to pay the McCanns never left his account. All payments – £360,000 and £76,000 in interest – was held until the appeal judges had ruled. The money never came out of the Maddie Fund, did it? It was never in the Fund.
Daily Express (Page 8): “McCanns ‘seething’ as Maddy detective overturns book ruling”
We finally hear from the McCanns’ legal aide. Their Portuguese lawyer, Isable Duarte, “said she was ‘disappointed’ but not surprised” at the ruling.
Daily Mail (Page 30): “McCanns suffer £395k libel loss”
Page 30. The story continues – but less and less people are listening to it.
The Central Somerset Gazette has news:
Glastonbury Festival supporting British steel with 250,000 reusable stainless steel cups for 2016
How is that supporting British steel, then? The Tata-owned steel works at Port Talbot in south Wales is in trouble. It produces slab, hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised coil. That’s new steel – virgin steel.
Festival organiser Michael Eavis pulls on a thick glove, holds aloft a steel cup for your red-hot coffee (ouch!) and tells the Somerset paper: “..the single most important thing was being able to source British stainless steel for the cups from the place where it was invented – Sheffield, and then to take it on to the home of manufacture – Birmingham.”
But how does this help British steel?
Teaming up with APS Metal Pressing Ltd, the cups are made from recycled steel which is smelted in Sheffield… “Week after week, there’s a story in the national press about jobs in the UK steel industry being put at risk. There’s seemingly no end to the negative slide of this critical industry and with it the jobs, skills and infrastructure are lost and won’t be replaced.”
The headline is depressing: “Jewish Labour MP facing ‘intimidation and hostility’ from party members.”
Nick Cohen reasons: “Not long now before voting Labour becomes the moral equivalent of voting Ukip.”
Anti-semitism is not forbidden upon within the Labour ranks. It’s tolerated. Soon it will be pretty much assumed. Kevin Schofield writes:
A prominent Jewish Labour MP is being targeted by party activists “hell-bent” on attacking her, it has been claimed. Louise Ellman has faced an “orchestrated” campaign by members in her Liverpool Riverside constituency, according to the city’s assistant mayor, Nick Small.
The allegations come just days after Ms Ellman, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said Jeremy Corbyn must do more to tackle anti-Semitism in the party... some hard-left activists said the global rise in anti-Semitism was “down to the existence of Israel”.
If in doubt, blame the Jews.
Mr Small tells the Jewish Chronicle:
“I found these comments offensive and believe that they have no place within the broad church of the Labour party [pun intended?]. There are a tiny but vocal group within our CLP who seem hell-bent on attacking our MP in an orchestrated, horrible, personalised way. They are trying to create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility that is making many members, particularly Jewish members, feel deeply uncomfortable.”
Says Ms Ellman:
“Most members of the Labour party are not anti-Semitic but some are and some are being allowed to get away with posting anti-Semitic comments in tweets and on their websites. The leader has spoken out clearly, he says he is against anti-Semitism. But it’s not just about words – there has got to be some action and we haven’t seen enough of that.”
Over to Twitter, where Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, Piers, offers a loaded retort: “#Zionists cant cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine.”
Zionists. Corbyn spits it out like a toxin; a shorthand for all the world’s ills. Naming someone a Zionist is the worst of all insults. It wasn’t always this way. Tony Benn once wrote for the Labour Zionist magazine, Jewish Vanguard. But then the Left changed the terminology. To be a Zionist, a person who believes in Zionism, the Jews return to an ancient Jewish homeland, is to be a threat to everything good and decent. To be an anti-Zionist is not necessarily to be anti-Semitic. Of course not. You don’t have to be a Jew to be hated by the Left, but it makes things a whole lot easier if you are.
The Zionist plan for Israel – a place promised to Jews in a Covenant with God (discuss) – is now apart from all other peoples’ rights to their own place on the planet. Last month the University of New South Wales guidelines, which are not mandatory, says Australia was “invaded, occupied and colonised”. It was not “discovered”. The Zionists would argue their lands were “invaded, occupied and colonised”. Palestinians would argue the same. It’s complicated. Israel is no romantic idyll flowing with milk and honey. But why should it attract so much more ire when many other places are settled and colonised? Why does Israel always top the BBC’s news cycle? Why does Israel get the Left so outraged when other countries at war and divided by sectarianism do not?
Answer: because you can pour all the world’s ills into it. Cure Israel and make the world a better place. Israel is not all about Jews, just as anti-Semitism isn’t. Israel, like the Jews, fits a bill and fills a vacuum. When you’re devoid of ideas, have no direction of travel for your weak projects, you need to find something to bind, define and epitomise what you stand for. We don’t know what Labour is any more but they can show us what it is not: Israel.
And then things soon get ugly. Just as anti-Semites say Jews are behind all the world’s ills, puppet-masters in a shadowy cabal, anti-Zionists say all problems in the Middle East are down to Israel. Defeat the Jews / Israel and all things in your life will be made better.
Sweden’s foreign minister, Margaret Wallstrom, said Islamists blow people up because of – yep – Israel: “To counteract the radicalization, we must go back to the situation, such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is not future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
Hamas can be Jeremy Cornyn’s “friends” (his word) because as Zionist haters they are on the side of the good and the decent. But Corbyn’s “friends” don’t believe in sexual equality, women’s rights, gay rights, democracy, freedom of expression, a free press and human rights. To overlook all that anti-freedom – to blame all those Islamist and anti-progressive policies on Israel – is to side with the anti-Semites. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism become indistinguishable
Having heard what Piers thinks of Zionistssssss, Jeremy Corbyn tells the Sun: “My brother isn’t wrong… My brother has his point of view, I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree. We are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.”
Smell that? It’s in the wind. It’s acidic, infectious and seductive to a Left wing shorn of ideas and progress. And it’s back…
Ronnie Corbett has died. I think he’s probably laughing at this Daily Mail caption error right now.
You might see Adam Johnson, the footballer, as a deeply unpleasant oddity. Jailed for six years for sexual activity with an underage girl, Johnson represents nobody but himself. But his job sets an agenda in motion. The Mail leads with news that Johnson has “damaged the reputation of football”. Well, so says Players’ Union supremo Gordon Taylor. He says the football authorities have to ensure a player grooming underage girls for sex “doesn’t happen again”, as if some kind of vetting process can be enforced to ensure anyone who thinks of kicking a ball for a living doesn’t think it ok to wilfully break the law. You might suppose the law was equally applied to the mundane and the celebrated, pointing to Johnson’s incarceration as evidence of just that. But footballs’ leading lights have bought into the top-down bilge that footballers are societal role models whose actions are aped by their fans.
Sticking with the Mail, Jeff Powell says the FA should “take back his caps”. Powell reasons that if a priest can be de-frocked, then a footballer can be un-capped. In Powell’s head a man who gives moral and divine guidance is on a par with a man who can pass a ball in a straight line. Wow, indeed. And then marvel at how Johnson’s name can be erased by taking away evidence that he ever played for England. The record books will show that when England defeated Switzerland 3-1 in 2010, the Three Lions fielded just 10 players and one goal was scored by a ghost, a non-person. Spooky stuff.
Over paged 4 and 5, we learn of things Johnson was not jailed for: looking at porn on a site called ‘Nice Young Teens’; having an STD; engaging in a number of “seedy trysts”; looking at animal porn; and liking sex on the bonnet of his Range Rover. The Express has more, telling readers how Johnson “scoured the internet for twisted animal porn” – is any animal porn non-twisted, of the straight-up sort? – and engaged in “vile discussions branding women ‘slags'”.
That’s the Express, which also owns the Daily Star. In today’s paper, readers are invited to dial a number to chat with “HORNY TEEN GIRLS”.
Adam Johnson is a depraved criminal who knowingly broke the law then lied and lied and lied, forcing his young victim to endure prolonged pain and humiliation. He is not a role model. He is not a typical footballer, any more than he is typical Sunderland-born male, father, porn watcher or tabloid reader. In labelling Johnson a “stain on the game” – typical of “an ugly side of the game rapidly losing its beautiful image” – the Mirror gives Johnson an excuse. ‘It’s not me, guv. It’s football wot made me do it.’
There is no hard evidence to support the idea that football culture makes individuals more likely to commit crime, sexually abuse minors and rape. Johnson’s crimes were not understandable responses to the prevailing culture around him, to his life at the office. He can’t get off that lightly. Framing his crimes as part of some perceived wider sickness in football gives him an excuse. He has none.
Johnson made a conscious choice to have sexual contact with a girl below the age of consent. His job did not force him into it. His professional peers did not present sexual abuse as an initiation. He represents no-one but himself. Football is innocent.
Operation Midland is closed. The Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations that a ‘ring’ of paedophiles operated out of Westminster is dead. After 16 months of lurid headlines and wicked whispers, the Met came up with zilch.
Midland is one of a number of inquiries that began after Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, said in the House of Commons in 2012 that there had been “a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”. He went on to call ex-top Tory MP Leon Britton “evil”. The Met called Nick’s claims “credible and true”. He was not an accuser. He was a victim.
Before the completion of an inquiry, let alone any charges brought or a trial, the people behind the inquiry knew its outcome. It was all credible and true. No evidence. No matter. The victim would be avenged. Objectivity and impartiality were no longer important barriers to justice. What followed would resemble not so much justice as a ritual cleansing, in which the morally right would purge the past and make clean the present. You might call it a witch-hunt.
Let’s review the coverage.
And we can begin with the Mirror, the paper that put so much stock in “Nick’, the man who said he knew children had been killed at sex parties. Nick said he had witnessed ‘VIP’ paedophiles rape and murder children between 1975 and 1984.
How many words does the Mirror tell its readers on the closure of Operation Midland, much of which was based on Nick’s claims? Nothing. Not a single word. Zippo. Wow, indeed. This is the paper that told its readers:
The Sun (front page): “VIP Paedo Probe Collapses”
Readers are asked, “Howe can he stay?” Howe is Met chief Bernard Hogan-Howe.
Page 4-5: “Probe was based on ramblings of a lying fantasist madman.”
ANGRY Harvey Proctor last night accused the Met of wrecking his life with a VIP paedophile ring investigation based on the ravings of a mad fantasist.
The gay ex-Tory MP, one of several prominent figures named by an anonymous accuser known only as Nick, wept with relief yesterday as the £3million Operation Midland inquiry shut down and he was told he faced no further action.
He said: “Operation Midland was based solely on the ramblings of a liar and a madman. The damage that has been done can’t be undone. The Met allowed me to be wrongly depicted as a paedophile, child abuser and child murderer by a fantasist. These are some of the worst things that can be said of another human being. Nothing the Metropolitan Police do or say, no weasel words of regret, can remove that indelible stain. I hope they are proud of themselves for irreparably ruining my life.”
To be innocent and accused of something you never did in such a public fashion is hideous. Proctor deserves our sympathy. For those readers late to the story, the Sun gives a potted history of Nick’s allegations:
He claimed he had witnessed Mr Proctor strangling and beating to death two young boys at one of these parties.
Nick also alleged former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, Britain’s most decorated soldier Lord Bramall, another senior Army officer and two ex-heads of MI5 and MI6 also attended sex parties in London.
The claims caused a sensation when they were publicised by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and the Exaro News website. The homes of 92-year-old D-Day veteran Lord Bramall and the late Lord Brittan were raided. And one senior detective described Nick’s claims as “credible and true”.
But doubts began to surface when Nick’s stepbrother and ex-wife described him as a fantasist who was having a mid-life crisis. The claims against Lord Bramall were eventually dropped. Police also found there was no case against Lord Brittan.
What say the police?
Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse yesterday insisted Operation Midland had been “handled well”. He refused to apologise to Mr Proctor and said: “I regret any distress caused to any individual but the Met can’t apologise for investigating serious allegations.”
But why were these allegations played out in public? Was it all a panicked reaction to Jimmy Savile, a man celebrated in life but in death dug up and beaten with sticks – a papal and British knight who had “groomed the nation”?
Page 10: “Met’s disgrace”
The Sun’s lead editorial is given to a review of the Met, the police force that not so long ago was harassing Sun journalists.
FROM start to finish there was a loathsome arrogance about the way Bernard Hogan-Howe’s Met Police conducted its “VIP paedophiles” witch-hunt. It was still evident yesterday even as Operation Midland was shut down in failure and disgrace…
They publicly insisted from the start the claims, from one man, were “credible . . . and true”. They turned out to be baseless smears blackening several distinguished names.
But no one is held to account and no one resigns.
And, despite zero evidence, no one prosecutes the “victim” for perverting justice or wasting police time.
The Mail (front page): “Humiliation of the Yard”
Only, they are not humiliated. They just carry on. The police do not listen. The police only tell.
Controversially, there are no plans to prosecute Nick, despite calls for him and a news website which peddled his claims to be put on trial for allegedly perverting the course of justice. One of the most extraordinary claims was that former Prime Minister Ted Heath persuaded former MP Harvey Proctor not to castrate Nick with a penknife – which was then handed to him to keep as a souvenir. The tone of the Met’s statement was in sharp contrast to its media appeal to ‘victims’ 15 months ago in which senior investigating officer Det Supt Kenny McDonald described Nick’s allegations as ‘credible and true’.
We should cheer this:
Mr Proctor last night paid tribute to the ‘free, inquisitive and independent-minded media, who have all supported me over the last year’.
Free speech matters. Journalism must not be regulated with licenses and a State-run board deciding what is and what is not important for people to know.
Mr Proctor said: ‘I believe Operation Midland should now be the subject of a truly independent public inquiry. ‘I consider that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, (Assistant Commissioner) Patricia Gallan, (Deputy Assistant Commissioner) Steve Rodhouse and (Det Supt) Kenny McDonald should tender their resignations. I believe Nick… should be prosecuted for seeking to pervert the course of justice.’ Lord Bramall told the BBC: ‘If they’d taken any trouble to put their effort into questioning the so-called victim, I think they would have found that (his allegations) were very unlikely.’
The Mail features the story over pages 4-5:. Guy Adams lists the “charge sheet” against the Met. He begins:
In December 2014, Det Supt Kenny McDonald held an emotional press conference and described Nick’s story as ‘credible and true’. McDonald has never explained why he made this extraordinary comment, given that Nick’s claims hadn’t been tested in court. At that point McDonald hadn’t interviewed a single suspect, didn’t know who the alleged murder victims were, and hadn’t found a single body.
So why did the police make such a big noise about the investigation? And how is it that amid the talk of VIPs and powerful people getting way with it, not a single top copper’s name – alive or dead – was dragged into the mire? But surely the biggest issue is that the failures of Operation Midland make us suspicious of all other investigations into past crimes. In the rush to look on the public’s side and morally correct, the police have damaged their own reputation and made us wary of complainants who allege they are victims of a cover up.